Almost 1 million Apple Watches pre-ordered in US: survey
More than 957,000 people in the US placed orders for an Apple Watch on Friday, the earliest the device became available, according to research firm Slice Intelligence.
Based on e-commerce receipt data from 9,080 online shoppers, Slice estimated that each US Apple Watch buyer ordered on average 1.3 watches, spending US$503.83 per watch. Customers ordering the cheaper Apple Watch Sport spent US$382.83 per watch while those ordering the standard device spent US$707.04.
Around two-thirds of pre-orders were for the aluminium Sport. The gold Apple Watch Edition, which retails for US$10,000, didn't feature in Slice's report, as not enough pre-orders were placed for it.
More than 70 per cent of pre-orders were for the larger, 42mm watch size, as predicted by the South China Morning Post's reviewer.
Slice said that 72 per cent of pre-order customers surveyed had bought an Apple product in the past two years, while 21 per cent pre-ordered an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus on its release in late 2014.
The Apple Watch goes on sale in nine countries and territories on April 24: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, and the US.
While many stores in the US reported being sold out of all pre-order inventory on Friday, reaction in Hong Kong was more muted.
Around 100 people queued up outside the firm's Causeway Bay outlet, far less than for the launches of previous Apple products such as the iPhone 6.
"I don't see the benefits and how I'll use this in my daily life," one potential customer told the Post after trying on the Watch.
"I'm an Apple fan, so I'm surprised I don't have the urgency to buy the Apple Watch now."
Nevertheless, Angela Ahrendts, Apple's senior vice-president in charge of retail and online stores, said the company expected customer demand to exceed supply on launch.
In Beijing on Friday, dozens of Apple fans queued up from the early hours to try on the Watch and place their orders.
China is becoming an ever more important market for the company, accounting for more than 20 per cent of Apple's US$74.6 billion earnings in the fourth-quarter of 2014.